on November 1, 2009 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Simon eliminated in Lyon, Ljubicic reaches final

LYON, France (Reuters) – Gilles Simon’s hopes of securing a spot in the World Tour Finals suffered a setback when he was defeated 6-7 6-3 7-6 by fellow Frenchman Michael Llodra in the semi-finals of the Lyon Grand Prix on Saturday.

The world number 12 lost control in the second set after his opponent broke in the fourth game.

In the deciding tiebreak, Simon could not handle Llodra’s attacking game and bowed out with a long volley.

Simon, who has now lost all four of his meetings against Llodra, will have his best chance of securing a place in the season-ending tournament in London when he competes at the Paris Masters next month.

Although he is also set to take part in the Valencia Open next week, Simon ruled himself out of the race for the two remaining spots for the London event.

“I have two tournaments left but in my mind, the race for the Masters has been over for quite a while,” a dejected Simon told reporters.

“But I will still play as well as I can in Valencia and (Paris) Bercy.”

Llodra, who served 24 aces and did not face a single break point against Simon, will face Ivan Ljubicic in Sunday’s final after the Croatian dismissed French wildcard Arnaud Clement 6-2 6-4.

Ljubicic, who won his last tournament on grass in s’Hertogenbosch in 2007, will play in his first final since he lost in Zagreb in February 2008.

(Writing by Julien Pretot in Paris; editing by Justin Palmer)